Bruce Springsteen, Robert De Niro and Diana Ross have been awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Barack Obama announced 21 new recipients of America’s highest civilian honour – the last he will award as President – earlier today (November 16).
According to a White House press release, the medal is “presented to individuals who have made especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors”.
Actors Tom Hanks, Robert Redford and Cicely Tyson have also been named as recipients, joined by chat show host Ellen DeGeneres and Saturday Night Live creator Lorne Michaels. The medals will be handed out next Tuesday (November 22) in a ceremony live-streamed from the White House.
The White House’s press release summarises Springsteen’s contribution to the nation as follows: “Bruce Springsteen is a singer, songwriter, and bandleader. More than five decades ago, he bought a guitar and learned how to make it talk.
“Since then, the stories he has told, in lyrics and epic live concert performances, have helped shape American music and have challenged us to realize the American dream. Springsteen is a Kennedy Center honoree and he and the E Street Band he leads have each been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.”